Scream 2022 Did Not Earn Dewey's Death | Screen Rant

Scream 2022 makes a daring move by bringing back characters from the original film, but it does not earn killing off one of them. It’s been over a decade since the previous cinematic entry in the Scream franchise, though during that time there was also a TV show that was arguably better than the movies. The latest Scream has been well-received, and it lives up to its name by having so-called “legacy” characters return to square off with the Ghostface Killer once more. The return of Sidney Prescott alongside the likes of Dewey Riley and Gale Weathers will be welcomed by many fans, but Scream 2022 ultimately fails with the death of a key cast member.

Scream 2022 makes a big show of Dewey Riley returning to the town of Woodsboro to help Sam and her sister Tara against Ghostface. Initially, the former sheriff is seen hiding in a trailer, pining after his former wife Gale Weathers. However, after initially rebuffing Sam's pleas for help, he soon decides to join the battle against the town's latest masked mass murderer. Unfortunately, an encounter with the new killer sees Dewey meet a tragic end as he is ironically stabbed to death in a hospital. Although Dewey’s been stabbed in Scream films more times than almost anyone else, the choices that lead to Dewey’s demise in Scream 2022 are rather disappointing.

RELATED: Scream 2022's Original Dewey Plan Made His Death Even Better

While the Scream franchise has always prided itself on its subversion of horror tropes and the progenitor of meta-horror, it drops the ball when it comes to Dewey Riley’s death. When Dewey and Sam make their way to the hospital to protect Tara from Ghostface, they manage to incapacitate the masked killer. Unfortunately, what they then choose to do is escape instead of making sure Ghostface is well and truly dead—or, at the very least, apprehend the killer once and for all. Given the character's experience in dealing with serial killers, the decision to avoid finishing the job feels like a huge oversight – even though he does eventually realize his mistake and attempt to rectify it.

Dewey's choice feels particularly egregious considering that the Scream films are all about not falling prey to horror movie cliches, and yet Scream 2022 ends up breaking several unspoken rules during its runtime. Dewey Riley, a seasoned survivor of Ghostface attacks, initially deciding to run away from an incapacitated killer is one of them. Instead of learning from all his previous encounters with Ghostface (as well as countless horror movies that are guilty of this), Dewey falls for one of the oldest tricks in the horror book and neither finishes the killer off, immobilizes them in some way, or even relieves them of the mask to reveal their identity when he has the chance to do so. While the recreation of this trope is in many ways in keeping with Scream's subversive themes, the fact that it is Dewey that falls prey given his history feels somewhat out of character.

Naturally, when Dewey does return later to attend to Ghostface, he finds that the killer has now sufficiently recovered to gain the upper hand. Dewey proceeds to go under the knife in brutal fashion, and dies tragically as Ghostface gets off scot-free and continues their killing spree around Woodsboro. Although Dewey’s demise may have been perfectly set up by a Scream 2 jokeScream 2022 does not do enough to earn his death. With stronger writing and a more imaginative conclusion, Dewey may have received a worthy send-off. As it stands, Scream 2022 does not do its most prominent legacy character justice— which is doubly disappointing considering it’s likely the last Scream fans will ever see of Dewey Riley.

NEXT: Scream 2022's Ending Finally Paid Off Wes Craven's Cruellest Trick

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